Selecting a Unicycle
Two of the main considerations when choosing a unicycle are whether it will fit you and what sort of riding you want to do. In "What Size?" we have a infomation on what leg length you need to fit each unicycle wheel size and a description advising which unicycle wheel sizes are appropriate for different types of riding.
We've also answered some frequently asked questions: What size unicycle would be easiest to learn on? Is there a weight limit on unicycles? My 10 year old wants to ride a unicycle, which one should we pick? What type of jumps unicycle has my 14 year old been watching on Youtube?
If you cannot find the answer to your questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
Here you will find more information on
|Here is a rough guide to check whether you are tall enough or need a longer seatpost. You will find exact sizes in the item description and remember these sizes are from your crotch to the floor with your shoes on, not your trouser length.
You also need to decide what you want to do with your unicycle. Here is a breakdown of the sizes:
12" Unicycle: This is a unicycle designed for a smaller child. It's good for children who are too small to ride a 16" unicycle, but it needs smooth ground and is not really good for outdoors. For children up to 5 year olds.
Cut Down Seatpost: 18.5" (47cm) Minimum Leg Length: 19.5" (50cm) Maximum Leg Length: 24" (61.5cm)
16" Unicycle: This is a children's unicycle, the small wheel makes it only suitable for very smooth areas. Best used indoors or on smooth ground; not so good outdoors especially if it is rough or uneven, good for learning for 5 to 8 year olds (always check your childs leg length to be sure)
Cut Down Seatpost: 20"(51cm) Minimum Leg Length: 23.5" (60cm) Maximum Leg Length: 29"(74cm)
20" Unicycle: Traditionally the most popular size of unicycle. These are great indoor, they turn quick and the best size for tricks.. They are great for unicycle hockey or basketball. They are used for Trials with a big tyre. The down side is that they make poor distance machines. Good for learning.
Cut Down Seatpost: 24" (61cm) Minimum Leg Length: 28" (71cm) Maximum Leg Length: 33" (84cm)
24" Unicycle: This is a common size among adults. Good for outdoors on paths, off-road and open areas although it can be a little bit big for indoors unless you have access to large hall or gym. The bigger wheel can make some of the advanced freestyle tricks harder. Good learner machine. Good for Muni and Trials with a big tyre.
Cut Down Seatpost: 27" (69cm) Minimum Leg Length: 31" (79cm) Maximum Leg Length: 36.6"(93cm)
Cut Down Seatpost: 29" (74cm) Minimum Leg Length: 32" (81cm) Maximum Leg Length: 36" (92cm)
29"Unicycle: This is good for communting. The big wheel makes it fast and smooth. You can also use this for off-road but it's not so good for very rough terrain. Not as fast as a 36" but lighter and more nimble. For advanced riders.
Cut Down Seatpost: 30" (76cm) Minimum Leg Length: 34" (86cm) Maximum Leg Length: 39" (100cm) 36"Unicycle The commuting unicycle. If you are a speed fiend then consider one of these, they are fast and smooth. Not a learners unicycle at all and not for indoors.
The commuting unicycle. If you are a speed fiend then consider one of these, they are fast and smooth. Not a learners unicycle at all and not for indoors.
Cut Down Seatpost: 29.5" (75cm) Minimum Leg Length: 29.5" (75cm) Maximum Leg Length: 40.5" (103cm)
Note: These are approximate sizes only, check the catalogue for the model you want. The cut down seatpost measurement is there to show the leg length after you have cut the seatpost shorter. If your legs are longer than the maximum leg length for that size unicycle you can always purchase a longer seat post.
There are lots of different styles of unicycles because there are lots of different things that you can do on a unicycle. When deciding which unicycle is suitable for you it is worth deciding what sort of riding you are planning to use the the unicycle for. Here are some of the main styles.
We use this term to describe those unicycles that we feel most suitable for someone who is learning. These are generally the same as the freestyle unicycles but of a less specialist nature. To help people when they are buying their first unicycle we have produced learner kits that contain the most commonly bought items when learning to unicycle. We have two types of learner unicycles; Trainer and Club unicycles, which are suitable for children and are not recommended for people over 11 stone (70kg) and not for jumping or rough use; the Trainer and Circus unicycles are more robust with CroMo hubs and stronger saddles so are suitable for adults as well as children. If you would like a stronger unicycle, have a look at our Freestyle Unicycles.
This is a term used to describe the unicycle competition where music, movement and high skill level are mixed. The most common size for freestlye is a 20" wheel. Freestyle unicycles have slick tyres to help with tricks. At Unicycle.com we also use the term 'freestyle' to describe the basic ranges of unicycles that are suitable for majority of tricks and games, like unicycle hockey or basketball.
Trilas riding is a style which involves jumping over obsticals such as picnic benches, up stairs or along railings. Trials Unicycles have special 19" rims and massive 2.5" wide tyres to help absorb the impact from landing and for greater stability. Trials Unicycles are available with ISIS hub/cranks or cotterless hub/cranks. ISIS hubs being much stronger.
It would not be sensible to use a 20" unicycle to commute to work or school, but there are unicycles suitable for this, these we refer to as road unicycles. They generally have larger wheels and proportionally shorter cranks. The UDC 36" has a 36" tyre capable of speeds in excess of 20 mph with an experienced rider, while the 29" Nimbus is quite capable of exceeding 15 mph. These large wheeled unicycles can also be used for cross-country unicycling when fitted with an off-road tyre. With the Schlumpf geared hub you can now also use a smaller wheel but gear it up for commuting or long distance riding. These are not really learner machines and are for experienced riders.
This is the commonly known abbreviation among unicyclists for Mountain Unicycling. Muni was originally used by Pashley for their range of off-road unicycles, but is now used to mean any off-road unicycle. Off-road unicycles have to be very strong and generally have bigger wheels and longer cranks. The wheel size can vary with 24" for technical Muni and jumping, and 26" and 29" for covering greater distances. Unicycles with splined hub and cranks are much stronger than cotter-less but can be more expensive and heavier.
A giraffe is a tall unicycle or to be exact a unicycle which is driven with a chain, this needs to be said because there is no way you could call the fleet mini giraffe a tall unicycle at only 18" above the ground! Giraffes are generally easier to ride than a standard unicycle after you have over come the fear of being so high and the problem of getting up there. This being said, they are not for the beginner because falls can cause injuries.
These are like a unicycle with the saddle and frame missing, just a wheel with pedals attached. Quite challenging to ride, though the bigger the wheel the easier they are to ride as you can pedal more slowly.
These are just a wheel with two pegs extending off the axle to balance on, beginners use footplates that are lower than the axle to learn on.
|What size unicycle would be easiest to learn on?|
|It depends on both your leg length and what kind of riding you want to do.
If the unicycle is for a child under 10 they are likely to be limited by the length of their legs, select the largest unicycle you can fit them on, to up 20" – you will find the leg length in the description of the unicycle. A 20" wheel will roll better than a 16" and hence will be easier to learn with.
If the leg length is long enough to fit on a 24" then you need to assess what style of unicycling is preferred. A 20" is best for doing tricks on and riding on smooth ground – these are preferred by jugglers, skate boarders, bmxers, etc... basically people who like doing tricks. A 24" is less good for tricks and is better for moving, especially over rougher ground, they are preferred by mountain bikers and road cyclists.
|Is there a weight limit on unicycles?|
|No. It is not actually possible to say that a unicycle will not break when used, what can do is offer recommendations. If you are over 12 stone we recommend the Trainer unicycle as it has a bigger saddle and a stronger hub. If you are wanting to jump or hop on the unicycle you should consider one of the ISIS unicycles (except for young children) as they are considerably more robust and designed for this kind of treatment.|
|Is a 5 year old too young to learn to ride a unicycle?|
|No. There are many instances of children younger than 5 who have learnt to ride. It often takes a little longer older children tend to have shorter attention spans.
If you check your child's leg length and find it is too small for our standard 12" talk to us and we can cut a frame down for you. The youngest unicycle rider in the world was only 18 months old!
|My 10 year old wants to ride a unicycle which one should we pick?|
|If your child is 10 they are mostly likely to be big enough to ride on a 20" Hoppley. The Hoppley is robust and ideal for children learning. If you think they are interesting in doing tricks and going further with their unicycling select a Club unicycle. Besides them coming in bright colours, they have a fantastic saddle, shorter cranks and a square topped frame for doing tricks on.|
|My 14 year old son wants a unicycle and has been watching unicycles jumping on YouTube?|
|It is more than likely that you will need to be looking at Trials. These unicycles have larger tyres that absorb the shock when jumping. At 14 you should probably be looking at the 19" unicycles, many of which are competitively priced and are extremely rigid.|